Battle of the Essences: SK-II vs. Missha

A few months ago, I wrote an article all about the 10 step Korean skincare routine, and while researching for the article I was very fascinated. Koreans are known for their flawless supple skin, and if this was what it took- I was more than willing. I began by incorporating essences into my skincare routine. I’ve been obsessed ever since. The only problem was I started out with an SK-II essence I had gotten as a gift. After realizing the price on this bad boy, I realized repurchasing wasn’t really an option. So I began the hunt for dupes, and here we are today..

Wondering What An Essence Is? 

Prior to this, most of the steps are likely to have sounded familiar. The concept of an Essence is unique and particular to East Asian skin care. This addition is taken very seriously and considered one of the most important steps. An essence can be seen as a more lightweight serum. It comes in a similar form to a toner, although the application is entirely different. Essences are expected to be patted into your skin with your hands; here‎’s your opening to gently pat your face and live out your inner-beauty-ad fantasy. The main purpose of this step is hydration and rejuvenation. An Essence also works to restore the skin’s pH balance, with the added benefit of hydrating and soothing your skin to further the absorption of the skin care steps to follow…

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

When I began this essence journey, I had a medium sized SK-II essence and a deluxe sample. I thought I was set, but then I realized how quickly I worked through the sample. I was obsessed and I needed more! What this did for my skin is really help the following steps to soak in better.  I used this after my toner and just felt so luxurious as I patted it into my skin. It left my skin instantly feeling softer and looking smoother, and the results over time worked similarly. I was suffering a lot of breakouts when I first started using this and I could feel it really soothe my skin and help the breakouts heal faster. It was the only new product I incorporated so I knew I owed these results to it. My skin felt incredible, it was so much softer and smoother!

Missha The First Treatment Essence in Intensive Moist

I instantly picked this up when I noticed it repeatedly coming up anytime I searched SK-II dupes. Missha is a pretty well known Korean brand, so I trusted it. I picked up the Intensive Moist addition because I just thought this would make my skin even softer and smoother. At a fraction of the price, it is still crazy to me that this actually works better!!! I instantly knew I loved this more. It just felt different. Something about it felt so much more hydrating and I could feel my skin drinking it up so much better.

Over time I started to notice how much smoother and softer my skin had gotten, but most importantly I noticed how supple it was. The hydration this essence gives really was visible, my skin felt so much more hydrated and I noticed my makeup was sitting a lot better. Now I don’t know if this solely worked miracles for my skin, or if it was the fact that this allowed my skin to soak up the following steps even more; either way, I owe my skin’s improvement to this!

When I really realized how well this worked was when I stopped using it and tried going back to SK-II. Now, I have heard that once you stop using the SK-II essence it doesn’t work as well, but honestly, that’s ridiculous to me. I can’t guarantee that I’d constantly be willing to spend $80 to make sure it’s always in my collection. Either way, my skin was craving the Missha essence and I just had to go back. My skin wasn’t looking as great and I could visibly notice a loss of softness and return of texture. I honestly can confidently say that the Missha Essence worked a lot better with my skin, it just gave me much better results and considering it’s a fraction of the price; I’m not complaining!

Let me know if you’ve tried either, or if you don’t really believe in essences- let’s talk!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Beauty-ish says:

    I’ve tried both and skii works better in summer time. Agreed that Missha feels more hydrating


  2. kathylcsw says:

    Great informative post! You have almost convinced ne to add this to my routine.


  3. Tigritsa says:

    I was waiting for this post. 🙂 Thanks for a great honest review! It’s nice to know there is a less expensive alternative that works even better!


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